Lindéngruppen company Alex Begg work to promote a children’s rights perspective throughout their global supply chain and in their local communities in Scotland.
At Lindéngruppen, it is our ambition that all our companies are role models for children’s rights perspective in their industries. Our approach is driven by our long-term collaboration with the Global Child Forum, which is a non-profit foundation that brings businesses, and regional and global stakeholders together to foster dialogue and spur action for social change around children’s rights.
Alex Begg, a leading producer of premium textiles, is involved in various activities related to children in their Mongolian supply chain, employee engagement initiatives and local communities in Scotland.
“Our company with mills in Ayr and Hawick can have a significant positive impact on children in Scotland and even as far away as Mongolia,” says Barbara Birnie, Director of People & Culture. “Protecting the rights of children is so important to us as the future of textiles and manufacturing belongs to young people.”
As Alex Begg source cashmere from Mongolian nomadic goat herders who move around with their families, the company supports projects related to the children of herders. Many of the children of nomadic herders go to boarding school in the Arkhangai region of Mongolia, which Alex Begg donates books, games and bunk beds to.
“I visited Mongolia in August as the new Sustainability Manager at Alex Begg to learn about our Mongolian cashmere supply chain and get to know the people our company relies on,” says Fiona MacDonald, Sustainability Manager at Alex Begg. “We are proud to support the basic right to education for the children of our herders. It’s about taking responsibility for the people in our supply chain.”
Alex Begg have created and rolled out educational videos on business and children’s rights to all employees to help them understand the importance of children’s rights in the company’s value chain and to provoke thought and discussion on the topic.
“In Scotland, we currently focus on engaging with young people in our local communities but have the ambition to expand our influence and impact,” says Birnie. “We also aim to lead the way to encourage other textile businesses to come with us on our journey to promote children’s rights.”
Alex Begg works closely with local schools – from donating waste yarn and encouraging young people to get creative with it, to open-house school tours and offering apprenticeships. In 2022, five young people began two-year mechanical apprenticeships with Alex Begg with the view for them to eventually become full-time employees. A local school student began a six-month work placement to support their studies and provide work experience, summer placements are offered to textile university students together with bursaries to support them during their studies, and two young people with special needs joined the company on placements in 2022 with the aim to offer them permanent positions.
“It’s about creating opportunities for young people – not just in our production, but also make them aware of the many different opportunities at Alex Begg and the textile industry in general – while filling the skill gap that currently exists in our industry,” explains Birnie. “We also participate in a variety of initiatives with other companies and Scottish political leaders aimed at unleashing the underestimated skills and talent of the future workforce.”
Read more about Alex Begg here